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Posts for January, 2014

Suit Filed To Overturn Arizona Marriage Ban

Jim Burroway

January 7th, 2014

Four couples have filed suit in Federal District Court in Phoenix, claiming that a longstanding state law and the 2008 state constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage violate the equal protection and due process provisions of the U.S. Constitution.

“A state law that singles out homosexuals for disfavored treatment and imposes inequality on them” violates the principle of equal protection under the law, he argued to Sedwick. He said that is precisely the effect of Arizona’s restrictions, denying gays the right to marry a chosen partner and denying them the “benefits and protections of marriage.”

The lawsuit also asks the court to compel the state of Arizona to recognize marriages from other states.

But Aiken has a fallback position, at least for two of the couples who were legally wed in California but reside in Arizona. Two of the couples are from Maricopa County and one is from Pinal County. The residence of the fourth couple was not available.

He said the U.S. Constitution already requires Arizona to honor opposite-sex marriages performed in other states. Aiken said Arizona has no legal right to decide same-sex marriages performed legally elsewhere are not entitled to legal recognition.

Arizona Cancels Health Care For Thousands

Jim Burroway

September 8th, 2009

It was just last year when proponents of Prop 102, Arizona’s constitutional ban on same-sex marriage promised — pretty please promised — that unlike their earlier unsuccessful effort in 2006, this time they learned their lesson and have no intention of going after domestic partnership benefits in order to get the gays fully discriminated in the state constitution. Crossed their heart and hoped to die, in fact.

Well Arizona’s new budget is in, and it proves the lie. Gov. Jan Brewer (R) has signed the budget bill that strips health insurance from the families of approximately 800 Arizona state employees, along with other domestic partnership benefits. Now how’s that for pro-family politics?

Prop 8 and Race: Who’s Really To Blame?

This commentary is the opinion of the author and does not necessarily reflect that of other authors at Box Turtle Bulletin.

Jim Burroway

January 9th, 2009

When I first looked at CNN’s exit polling data on November 5th for Prop 8, my first reaction was pretty simple — and I quote, “We have done a very poor job in reaching out to the African-American community.” That was on seeing the exit poll which said that African-Americans voted for Prop 8 by a 70%-30% margin. Leave aside whether this figure is accurate or not, it was emblematic to me of a plain and undeniable fact, one that Andrew Sullivan recently backed up with other polling data — that “African-Americans are more opposed to gay equality than any other ethnic group.” And we failed yet again in reaching out to make a dent in that dynamic.

But to my dismay, that wasn’t the larger reaction. Instead, people pounced on those numbers and said, “Ah-hah! That’s why we lost!” The polling numbers became a sort of get-out-of-jail free card for many of us who fought to defeat these marriage amendments in California, Arizona and Florida. We get to wash our hands and say, “If it hadn’t been for those people, we would have won!

The problem, of course, is that we know the dangers of blaming a minority group for someone else’s troubles. Graveyards around the world are filled with the results of that kind of scapegoating. And yet, that is what this morbid debate has devolved into. One side says it is the African-American community’s fault that Prop 8 passed. The other side says no it isn’t; the exit polling data is flawed.

Well thankfully, the NGLTF came to the rescue with a study which lets that besieged minority off the hook. Which is good as far as that beleaguered minority is concerned, because now everyone’s rushing to embrace it with a palpable sense of relief. See? It wasn’t their fault after all! Whew! Well okay then, let’s talk about something else…

But then, all of the sudden, this humble little web site stirred the pot again, and we’ve gotten an awful lot of attention around the blogosphere lately because Timothy Kincaid looked at the study and saw some things he felt didn’t add up. And now the grand debate is back on: are African-Americans to blame or aren’t they? And there’s an added twist this time: What’s the deal with Timothy not letting them off the hook? (For an answer there, I encourage everyone to re-read Timothy’s last five paragraphs — they deserve a post of their own.)

Let me say that I have not looked at NGLTF’s study, nor have I looked into Timothy’s analysis of it. That means I have some homework to do this weekend. I generally trust Timothy’s judgment and his analytical skills. But beyond that, I won’t comment on this particular study until I get a chance to look at it myself.

But I think we all can agree — in fact, I think it is indisputable — that there is a very large divide between the gay community and the African-American community. That the problem of homophobia is higher in the black community than it is among Latinos and Whites. (And that homophobia isn’t exactly a small thing among Latinos and Whites either.) I don’t think anyone who has been paying attention can dispute any of this.

We don’t need studies or polls to define the problem. All they do is throw quantitative numbers at it, and allow us to operate under the delusion that if we can only somehow change the numbers, the problem will somehow go away. NGLTF changed the numbers — or at least they gave us a study with numbers we’d much rather see. Okay, maybe the Black vote didn’t lose the election for us, I don’t know. But somehow I don’t think the problem of Black homophobia is any better. Yet it appears that too many of us like NGLTF’s numbers so much better that we’d rather pretend the problem just went away so we could go on whistling happily in the dark.

Or worse, we can conclude — as the No on 8 campaign did before the election — that the number of voters among African-Americans were small and not worth engaging after all. Even though Black leaders were at the ready to speak out against Prop 8.

So let me say this loud and clear: It is not the African-American community’s fault that Prop 8 passed. And I do agree with at least one point in the NGLTF’s press release: To say that African-Americans caused Prop 8 to pass is a myth. It is an evil, pernicious, odious myth.

It is axiomatic in politics that the glory of winning a race goes to the winning campaign. The corollary then is that the blame for losing a race goes to the losing campaign. And as one who served as chair for a grass-roots effort to defeat Prop 102 in Arizona, I bear the blame for what happened here as well. In fact, I’ll cop to a huge failure right now: I cannot even claim that many of my best friends are Black with a clear conscience. I suspect more of us White LGBT people share that failure than we care to admit.

If we aren’t willing to admit to our own failures, then we’re just doomed to more failures in the future. And our failure in not asking specifically for Black votes — using Black voices, Black media, Black leaders, Black entertainers, Black opinion makers — while addressing Black concerns and misconceptions, well that was a whopper. The black vote may or may not have ensured Prop 8’s passage. But our failure by not asking directly for the Black vote meant that we got precisely the result what we asked for.

That is clearly our fault, and we need to own it if we want anything to ever change in the future. In fact, we need to regard the entire failure of Prop 8, Prop 102 and Amendment 2 as though they were our fault. That is the only way we can generate the sense of urgency it will take to change how we deal with propositions like this in the future. Because after thirty some defeats, we clearly need to do something different, and we need to do it urgently.

So what do we do now? Do we continue to engage in the false debate over who’s to blame for Prop 8’s passage? Does anyone really think that such a debate gets us anywhere? Or do we instead roll up our sleeves and try to find opportunities to actually talk to Black people — including leaders and opinion makers — to listen to their concerns, address them, stand up with them, and show by example that we’re all in this together? That when one of us is diminished, we all are diminished?

Or do we continue to diminish someone else? Because right now, that’s the path we’re on. And that does nobody any good, especially Black LGBT people who are caught in the middle of all of this with all too tragic consequences.

So, who’s really to blame for Prop 8’s passage?

I am!

And I am committed to making the hard changes required to keep it from happening again. I am committed to changing what hasn’t worked before.

As long as there is anyone else we can blame, we will have an excuse to sit back and do nothing differently. And if we do nothing differently, then we will have no right to expect a different result.

Who else has the guts to join me?

LaBarbera Award: Pat Boone

Jim Burroway

December 9th, 2008

Pat Boone has definitely gone over the edge. In his latest outrage at WorldNetDaily, Boone tut-tuts the recent massacres at Mumbai, and draws a direct line of connection between that terrorist operation and demonstrations against Prop 8:

Thank God, it couldn’t happen here. Could it?

Look around. Watch your evening news. Read your newspaper.

Are you unaware of the raging demonstrations in our streets, in front of our churches and synagogues, even spilling into these places of worship, and many of these riots turning defamatory and violent? Have you not seen the angry distorted faces of the rioters, seen their derogatory and threatening placards and signs, heard their vows to overturn the democratically expressed views of voters, no matter what it costs, no matter what was expressed at the polls? Twice?

… Assuming you have become aware of all this, let me ask you: Have you not seen the awful similarity between what happened in Mumbai and what’s happening right now in our cities?

When terrorists launched their attack on Mumbai two weeks ago, they killed 163 people in a shocking carnage which is now being referred to as India’s 9/11. Contrast that to the demonstrations which have broken out all across American against the passage of Prop 8 — not riots, as Boone calls them, but demonstrations — which have all been remarkably peaceful. In fact, I challenge Boone to name a single riot on American soil since election day.

Boone isn’t the first to falsely characterize these peaceful protests as “violence” and “riots,” but he is the first well-known figure to claim that peaceful marchers are equivalent to militant Islamists with automatic weapons and grenades. Boone succeeds in raising the false “violence” charge to a whole new and disgusting level. All that’s missing now is a holocaust analogy. I’m sure we’ll see that before too long.

Vigil At Mesa, AZ Temple Tonight

Jim Burroway

November 28th, 2008

I wish I had found out about this earlier:

When Mormons light their massive and colorful Christmas displays tonight on the Mesa Arizona Temple grounds, thousands of candles may burn across the street in a vigil in Pioneer Park.

Vigil organizers call it a demonstration of solidarity for gays and lesbians seeking full civil rights. They say their vigil was precipitated by Mormons’ staunch opposition to same-sex marriage with passage of amendments to constitutions in Arizona, California and Florida in the Nov. 4 general election.

“We are not going to march. It is not a protest. We will have our candles,” said an organizer, Robert Parker, an outspoken gay Mormon from Mesa. Parker hopes to get 5,000 people to assemble in the park “to stand in solidarity with gay Mormons who are stuck in the closet and need to know that we are working to help secure their civil rights.”

Mormons in Arizona contributed at a minimum 40% — some say as much as 80% — of the $8 million raised to pass Prop 102 in Arizona. Prominent Mormons were also at the head of the official “Yes” campaign in support of Prop 102. But for all of that, Don Evans, spokesman for LDS church in Arizona, continues to express surprise at being “singled out”

This constitutional amendment was supported by the Catholic Church, which is far and away the largest church in Arizona, and it was also supported by the various evangelical congregations.” All of those churches consistently opposed same-sex marriages, but “our church has taken the lion’s share of the protest,” Evans said.

The LDS church has taken a lion’s share of the protest because the church took on a lion’s share of the work — running the campaigns as well as using LDS tithing rolls as a fundraising tool among church members. Evangelicals and Catholics, while supportive of the amendments, did not take nearly as prominent a role as the LDS church chose to take.

And when anyone chooses to insert themselves in the rough-and-tumble world of politics, they can expect to experience the political consequences and criticisms of their actions, be they a political party, James Dobson, Swift Boat Veterans, or the Mormon church.

And if any other group had gone in as deeply and as enthusiastically into this political fight as the Mormon church has, they’d be fair game for protests. We could just as easily be targeting General Motors if GM had played the role that the LDS leadership did. But GM didn’t put their reputations on the line and fight to strip people of rights that they already enjoyed. The LDS church did.

And they did it with Big Mormon Money and Big Mormon Organization. In Arizona’s example, they out-spent anti-102 forces by nearly 12-1. They are also under investigation in California for making unreported in-kind donations — providing for free the sort of services that campaigns typically have to pay for. The LDS Church provided free phone-banking, satellite broadcasts, travel, a web site, commercials, and so forth — all of which are reportable under California and Arizona law.

So because of all that, the LDS leaders are now political figures just like anyone else who organizes and executes a political campaign. And because they chose to exercise their rights to do that — and as citizens and under current IRS regulations, it is their right to do so — they are now subject to the same scrutiny and criticisms as any other political figures or organizations.

They have given up their right to be “puzzled” and pretend that they are just another church. They’re not. They are now political activists just like the rest of us. Welcome to our world.

See also:
LDS Church Can’t Hide Behind A Temple

People Keep Asking About Prop 102 Doners

Jim Burroway

November 17th, 2008

There has not been a single day go by that someone hasn’t emailed me asking where they can find a list of donors who supported Arizona’s Prop 102. Well, you’re in luck. All donations are a matter of public record, with the complete lists avalaible at the Arizona Secretary of State’s web site.

Employee Fired By LDS-Owned Firm for Opposing Prop 102

Jim Burroway

November 14th, 2008

I received this email earlier this morning. Portions are reprinted here with permission:

I worked for a Mormon-owned CPA firm… I was fired from my job after admitting that I had voted NO on prop 102.

I was discussing the election on Wednesday with some co workers (who don’t vote) and I asked if you would have voted, what would you have voted on 102? She told me she would have voted no, so I said well at least I’m not the only one on the office that was against it. Then she said wait, what was a no vote for? So I explained 102 to her. She got extremely angry and started saying it was an abomination. So I told her that I had a cousin who was gay that was murdered in a hate crime because he was gay. So I supported it because it was just an equal rights issue. So I just dropped it and didn’t discuss it anymore.

The next day she had a meeting with the owner, and when I came in on Friday they told me that I was being let go. When I asked if it was because of my work performance, the owner said “Let’s just call it a management decision.” I had spoken to the owner just weeks before about the upcoming year and he was telling me he wanted to give me a raise. He had booked me for a tax seminar for the second week of Dec., so I know he was planning on me being employed with him for awhile until this.

This is what we’re up againt: people who act with impunity.

Protests Continue Through the Weekend

Jim Burroway

November 14th, 2008

The protests against Prop 8 continue. Via Queers United, we have some more scheduled for this weekend:

Friday, November 14, 2008

Tucson, Arizona
5:00 p.m. Assemble at El Presidio Park (115 North Church St., on the Plaza in front of Tucson City Hall)
5:30 p.m. March to La Placita Village
5:45 to 7:00 p.m. Rally and Official Presentation for Launch of FAMILIES YOU KNOW at La Placita Village (201 Church St., Tucson)
See Wingspan for more details

La Jolla, California
11:30 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.
UC San Diego,
9450 Gilman Drive

Costa Mesa, California
12:00pm – 2:00pm
Vanguard College
Lawn in front of Heath @ Vanguard
562-310-7470, Ebonee.Batiste@vanguard.edu

Hollywood, CA
4:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
The CNN BUILDING
6424 Sunset and Cahuenga

Hermosa Beach, CA
5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
The Intersection of Pier and Hermosa Ave.
Hermosa Beach Pier

San Francisco
6:00 p.m.
San Francisco Chronicle, 901 Mission St.

Los Angeles, CA
7:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.
UCLA
Bruin Plaza / Campus

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Join The Impact
Nationwide protests on Saturday. Please click here for more information on a city near you.

Costa Mesa, Orange County, CA
12:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
South Coast Plaza
Bear Street (Where the mall, Crystal Court, and Metro Pt. meet)

New York, NY
1:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.
City Hall
260 Broadway

Las Vegas, NV
2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
The LGBT Center, 953 E. Sahara Ave., Ste. B-31
standoutforequality@thecenterlv.com, 702-733-9800

Valencia Santa Clarita / Stevenson Ranch California
4:00 p.m.
Corner of Valencia Blvd & McBean Pkwy, Santa Clarita
http://www.myspace.com/noonH8

Victorville, CA
6:00 p.m.
Corner of Bear Valley Rd and Hesperia Rd. (NorthWest corner by Bank of America)

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Lake Forest, CA
10:00 a.m.
Saddleback Church
1 Saddleback Pkwy

Newport Beach, CA
10:00 a.m.
At the Mormon Temple in Newport Beach, Calif.
2300 Bonita Canyon Dr., at the corner of Bonita Canyon and Prairie Rd.

Long Beach, CA
10:30 a.m.
Jesus Christ Church of Latter-Day Saints [Silent Protest]
1140 Ximeno
714-881-9427, csibri@mac.com

Los Altos, CA
11:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
1300 Grant Rd
BrandonRN2004@aol.com

Philadelphia, PA
2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Independence Hall
143 South 3rd Street

Pasadena, CA
3:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.
Intersection of Colorado Blvd & Lake Ave
Jimmy Chen at gqgemini@gmail.com or 323.229.7336

Long Beach, CA
3:00 p.m.
Intersection of PCH/7th/Bellflower
Contact: Brittney at felisperdita@verizon.net

San Clemente, CA
3:00 p.m.
242 Avenida Del Mar
Contact: Edson McClellan at 949.584.6084 or emcclellan7@gmail.com.

1997 Mormon Memo Emerges, Revealing Longstanding Strategy

Jim Burroway

November 12th, 2008

An eleven year old internal LDS memo has emerged which proves that the Mormon church has been plotting against same-sex marriage for more than a decade.

The memo, dated March 4, 1997, provides insight into the late LDS President Gordon B. Hinckley’s strategy for opposing same-sex marriage. It describes a meeting in which Hinckley gives the go ahead, but urged caution. According to the memo, “he (President Hinckley) also said the (LDS) Church should be in a coalition and not out front by itself.”

In fact, the LDS church has been way out front in its battles against gays and lesbians, both in California and in Arizona.

The memo was addressed to Elder M. Russell Ballard, who has played a central role in the LDS’s fight in Arizona and California. He appeared on several closed-circuit satellite broadcasts to Mormon churches with specific instructions on the California campaign for Prop 8. In one such broadcast in late October, he reminded the faithful that the central doctrine of Celestial Marriage was propelling the church’s drive to impose its theology on state constitutions:

“We know that it is not without controversy, yet let me be clear that at the heart of this issue is the central doctrine of eternal marriage and it’s place in our Father’s plan,” Ballard said.

Parts of the 1997 memo were first published on the DailyKos web site on November 3. Those portions reveal that the LDS leadership has been strategizing for California even back then.

Update: You can see the entire memo by clicking here (PDF: 260KB/8 pages).

Protests Continue This Week

Jim Burroway

November 12th, 2008

The protests against Prop 8 continue. Here are some more scheduled for this week:

Wednesday, November 12
Encinitas, CA
4:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Corner of Saxony and Encinitas Blvd.
Phone: 5305759264
dancewithwolves@wildmail.com

West Hollywood, CA
7:00 p.m.
Santa Monica & San Vicente

New York, NY
6:30 p.m.
Manhattan Mormon Temple
125 Columbus Ave at 65th Street

San Diego, CA
7:00 p.m.
St. Paul’s Episcopal Cathedral
2728 Sixth Ave.
For more info, contact Chris Harris at (619) 298-7261 or harrisc@stpaulcathedral.org.

Sacramento, CA
11:30 p.m. to 7:00 a.m.
Meet on the West Steps of the Capitol (10th Street Side)
March will end up back at the West Steps at 4:30 am
For those that can ONLY participate in the morning’s performance piece – arrive no later than 4:30 am.

Thursday, November 13
UC Riverside
11:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
UC Riverside Bell Tower

Irvine, CA
4:30 p.m.
Corner of Campus & Culver Drive, Irvine
Marching to Culver & Alton.

State, College, PA
5:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.
Allen Street Gates
Corner of College and Allen Streets
814-360-5717, hvstonewall@gmail.com

Friday, November 14
Tucson, AZ
5:00 p.m.: Assemble at El Presidio Park (155 N Church St)
5:30 p.m.: March to La PLacita Village
5:45 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. Rally
See Wingspan for details.

UC San Diego, La Jolla
11:30 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.
9450 Gilman Drive

Vanguard College
12:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.
Lawn in front of Heath @ Vanguard
562-310-7470, Ebonee.Batiste@vanguard.edu

Hermosa Beach, CA
5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
The Intersection of Pier and Hermosa Ave.
Hermosa Beach Pier

San Francisco
6:00 p.m.
At the San Francisco Chronicle, 901 Mission St.

Saturday, November 15
Nationwide rallies. See Join the Impact for details.

Boycott Utah?

Jim Burroway

November 10th, 2008

There’s a move afoot to launch a boycott against the state of Utah in response to the LDS Church’s heavy-handed role in passing California’s Proposition 8 (and please don’t forget their role in Arizona’s Prop 102!):

Gay rights activist John Aravosis, whose well-trafficked AmericaBlog.com is urging the boycott, is unapologetic about targeting Utah rather than California, where voters defined marriage in the state Constitution as a heterosexual act. Utah, Aravosis said, “is a hate state,” and on this issue, “at a fundamental level, the Utah Mormons crossed the line. . . . They just took marriage away from 20,000 couples and made their children bastards. You don’t do that and get away with it.”

Utahans didn’t vote on Prop 8 or Prop 102, not all Utahans are Mormons and many Mormons opposed these marriage amendments, including faithful Mormons in Utah. I can see boycotting Mormon-owned businesses which supported Prop 8 and Prop 102. There’s no shortage of targets there. I can also see the logic of boycotting Mormon-owned businesses which make their LDS connections an integral part of their identity — Marriott, for example.

There are businesses I refuse to patronize on principle, even though I’m sure they don’t miss my dollars much. While I question the effectiveness of boycotts as a tactic, I’m all for it in principle as long as the target is appropriate.  But boycotting an entire state? I’m not so sure what that will accomplish. It seems to me we risk harming those who had nothing to do with this, while letting others — businesses in California, Arizona and elsewhere — off the hook.

What do you think?

LDS Church Can’t Hide Behind A Temple

This commentary is the opinion of the author and may not necessarily reflect those of other authors at Box Turtle Bulletin

Jim Burroway

November 8th, 2008

The Mormon church doesn’t like the attention it’s getting in the wake of California’s Prop 8. Church leaders released this statement yesterday:

It is disturbing that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is being singled out for speaking up as part of its democratic right in a free election.

Members of the Church in California and millions of others from every faith, ethnicity and political affiliation who voted for Proposition 8 exercised the most sacrosanct and individual rights in the United States – that of free expression and voting.

While those who disagree with our position on Proposition 8 have the right to make their feelings known, it is wrong to target the Church and its sacred places of worship for being part of the democratic process.

Once again, we call on those involved in the debate over same-sex marriage to act in a spirit of mutual respect and civility towards each other. No one on either side of the question should be vilified, harassed or subject to erroneous information.

Well, the Mormon leadership is right on their last sentence. If only they had heeded that advice during the campaign. Gay couples throughout the state were vilified, harassed and subject to dump truck loads of erroneous information during the campaign that the Mormon church itself played an enormous role in waging. There was no sense of civility during their campaign. Why should they not expect to reap the seeds that they sow?

The leadership of the LDS Church has their hand prints all over the campaigns in Arizona and California:

  • We know Arizona state Senators who didn’t want to be present for the vote to place Prop 102 on the ballot, but were coerced and harassed by their bishops and other church members into cutting short their vacations to cast their vote.
  • Once on the ballot in California and Arizona, we know that Mormon prophets called on their followers to give of their “time and means,” and that this call went out to all Mormons in California and Arizona, as well as in Utah.
  • We also know that the Arizona anti-gay campaign was under the direct leadership of some of the most prominent LDS members in the state.
  • By some estimates, more than $20 million of Mormon money went to fund the $36 million California campaign, while an additional estimated $3-7 million funded Arizona’s $8 million campaign.

One thing must be made clear: the leadership of the LDS church has every right to do this. Churches are barred by IRS regulations from endorsing political candidates, but they are fully free to participate in the political process on the issues — including ballot propositions. To claim otherwise would be to deny the LDS Church’s right to speak out on what it sees as important moral issues. It would also deny the rights of LDS members to fully participate in the democratic process.

But exercising those rights in the democratic process brings with it public scrutiny and criticism. That, too, is an integral part of the democratic process from which no one is exempt.

When the Mormon church chose to enter the political sphere, the fact that they are a religious institution became irrelevant. They led non-Mormons in their political campaign, and they exhorted everyone —  regardless of their religious affiliation — to vote on amendments which affected everyone, Mormons and non-Mormons alike. This was a democratic political campaign, not a religious one. We were voting on constitutional amendments, not theology.

Mormon leaders were acting in their role as citizens in the democratic process, a role that they have every right to be proud of — at least from their particular point of view. After all, their political campaign was successful. I don’t like how it all turned out, but such is politics. There are always, by the nature of the beast, winners and losers. And their side won this time in the end.

But as citizens leading a political campaign, they cannot escape public accountability for their public actions, especially when their political actions were seen by many as dirty, degrading, dishonest, and most definitely un-Christian. After all that, the leadership of the LDS cannot suddenly change roles, toss up their hands and say, “You can’t criticize us! We’re a religion!” They forfeited that right when they threw themselves enthusiastically into a non-religious, political campaign. They forfeited that right when they left the temple and entered the world of Caesar. They are politicians now, and they deserve the same scrutiny and criticism due to any other political leader or movement.

It is not scapegoating to point out the facts, nor is it Mormon-bashing to criticize their agenda and tactics. This is all fair game in politics — politics which the Mormon church eagerly entered. Andrew Sullivan is right: gays and lesbians now have every right to regard the LDS leadership as their enemy. After all, gays didn’t wage a campaign to strip Mormons of their civil rights. It was the Mormon leaders who have successfully removed a civil right which had already been granted to gays and lesbians.

This is not bigotry or discrimination against a religion. It is criticism leveled against what is now seen as a powerful political organization. That is perfectly legitimate.

Welcome to the world of politics, LDS. There’s no hiding behind a temple now.

[Updated to attribute the final point to Andrew Sullivan.]

Prop 102 Exit Polling

Jim Burroway

November 5th, 2008

Here are some figures I found interesting from CNN’s exit polling on Prop 102:

Women were more supportive than men:
Men: Yes: 57%; No: 43%
Women: Yes 55%; No: 45%

The youth vote was in our camp, which bodes well for the future:
Age 18-29 Yes: 48%; No: 52%

The political party divide was stark in a state that McCain carried for President:
Democrat: Yes: 35%; No: 65%
Republican: Yes: 81%; No: 19%

The Catholic vote was surprisingly close:
Catholics: Yes: 51%; No: 49%

Also opposition to Prop 102 increased with education and income. Truly the only thing we have to fear is fear itself. The young, the less economically vulnerable, and the better educated were all less fearful.

A Few Silver Linings

Jim Burroway

November 5th, 2008

As we continue to watch California’s results trickle in, there are some silver linings to report. Arizona State Sen. Tim Bee (R-Tucson) lost his congressional race against Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, 55% to 43%, with 73% of precincts reporting. Bee is the guy responsible for casting the crucial sixteenth vote which put Prop 102 onto the Arizona ballot. His political career is now, fittingly, over.

And perennial Federal Marriage Amendment sponsor Marilyn Musgrave (R-CO) has lost her bid for re-election. With 67% of precincts reporting, Betsy Markey is thumping her 57% to 42%.

Update: With 99% of the precincts reported, Bee is down 56% to 43%. The Arizona Daily Star is reporting that Bee has still declined to concede as of 1:30 am. What a loser.

Update: After the lights went out and the cameras left, Bee finally conceded via email this morning.

Election Day Update Live Blogging

Jim Burroway

November 4th, 2008

As of 2:12 pm EST/11:12 am PST:
Okay, one last update. The Los Angeles Times declared Prop 8 as passed, and so will we. I hope we’re premature.

Now, this ends the live blog.

Arizona: Proposition 102: (Marriage Amendment)
Yes: 1,040,122 (56%) – Projected winner
No: 801,437 (44%)
99% of precincts reporting.

Arkansas: Initiative 1 (Gay Adoption Ban)
Yes: 573,873 (57%) – Projected winner
No: 434,406 (43%)
96% of precincts reporting.

California: Proposition 8 (Marriage Amendment)
Yes: 5,235,486 (52%) – Projected winner
No: 4,800,656 (48%)
97% of precincts reporting.

Florida: Amendment 2: (Marriage Amendment)
Yes: 4,710,928 (62%) – Projected winner
No: 2,877,193 (38%)
99% of precincts reporting.
* The Florida constitution requires 60% for an amendment to pass.

As of 1:35 pm EST/10:35 am PST:
At this point, there has been no substantial movement in the election results for the past several hours — just a few tweaks here and there as the last precincts report in. There may be more changes as absentee and provisional ballots are counted over the next few hours and perhaps days. We will continue to update these figures periodically in other posts, and put this particular marathon “live blog” to an end for now.

Arizona: Proposition 102: (Marriage Amendment)
Yes: 1,039,845 (56%) – Projected winner
No: 801,346 (44%)
99% of precincts reporting.

Arkansas: Initiative 1 (Gay Adoption Ban)
Yes: 573,873 (57%) – Projected winner
No: 434,406 (43%)
96% of precincts reporting.

California: Proposition 8 (Marriage Amendment)
Yes: 5,220,694 (52%)
No: 4,792,873 (48%)
96% of precincts reporting.

Florida: Amendment 2: (Marriage Amendment)
Yes: 4,674,662 (62%) – Projected winner
No: 2,855,432 (38%)
99% of precincts reporting.
* The Florida constitution requires 60% for an amendment to pass.

As of 1:20 pm EST/10:20 am PST:
Just a few minor tweaks to the Arkansas and Florida counts. No change on Arizona or California. The No on Prop 8 campaign called a hastily organized press tele-conference refusing to concede, saying that 3 million to 4 million ballots remain uncounted statewide.

Arizona: Proposition 102: (Marriage Amendment)
Yes: 1,039,792 (56%) – Projected winner
No: 801,315 (44%)
99% of precincts reporting.

Arkansas: Initiative 1 (Gay Adoption Ban)
Yes: 573,873 (57%) – Projected winner
No: 434,406 (43%)
96% of precincts reporting.

California: Proposition 8 (Marriage Amendment)
Yes: 5,220,694 (52%)
No: 4,792,873 (48%)
96% of precincts reporting.

Florida: Amendment 2: (Marriage Amendment)
Yes: 4,674,662 (62%) – Projected winner
No: 2,855,432 (38%)
99% of precincts reporting.
* The Florida constitution requires 60% for an amendment to pass.

As of 12:20 pm EST/9:20 am PST:

Arizona: Proposition 102: (Marriage Amendment)
Yes: 1,039,792 (56%) – Projected winner
No: 801,315 (44%)
99% of precincts reporting.

Arkansas: Initiative 1 (Gay Adoption Ban)
Yes: 573,774 (57%) – Projected winner
No: 434,344 (43%)
95% of precincts reporting.

California: Proposition 8 (Marriage Amendment)
Yes: 5,220,694 (52%)
No: 4,792,873 (48%)
96% of precincts reporting.

Florida: Amendment 2: (Marriage Amendment)
Yes: 4,674,626 (62%) – Projected winner
No: 2,851,966 (38%)
99% of precincts reporting.
* The Florida constitution requires 60% for an amendment to pass.

As of 11:30 am EST/8:30 am PST:

Arizona: Proposition 102: (Marriage Amendment)
Yes: 1,039,792 (56%) – Projected winner
No: 801,315 (44%)
99% of precincts reporting.

Arkansas: Initiative 1 (Gay Adoption Ban)
Yes: 573,873 (57%) – Projected winner
No: 434,406 (43%)
95% of precincts reporting.

California: Proposition 8 (Marriage Amendment)
Yes: 5,195,136 (52%)
No: 4,779,297 (48%)
96% of precincts reporting.

Florida: Amendment 2: (Marriage Amendment)
Yes: 4,674,654 (62%) – Projected winner
No: 2,855,427 (38%)
99% of precincts reporting.
* The Florida constitution requires 60% for an amendment to pass.

As of 10:00 am EST/7:00 am PST:
It’s time for me to head to work, so updates may be sporadic.

Arizona: Proposition 102: (Marriage Amendment)
Yes: 1,039,606 (56%) – Projected winner
No: 801,279 (44%)
99% of precincts reporting.

Arkansas: Initiative 1 (Gay Adoption Ban)
Yes: 573,774 (57%) – Projected winner
No: 434,344 (43%)
95% of precincts reporting.

California: Proposition 8 (Marriage Amendment)
Yes: 5,163,908 (52%)
No: 4,760,336 (48%)
95% of precincts reporting.

Florida: Amendment 2: (Marriage Amendment)
Yes: 4,662,558 (62%) – Projected winner
No: 2,851,598 (38%)
99% of precincts reporting.
* The Florida constitution requires 60% for an amendment to pass.

As of 9:35 am EST/6:35 am PST:
Interesting exit polling results for California’s Prop 8. The present is difficult, but the future is ours. Hang in there.

Arizona: Proposition 102: (Marriage Amendment)
Yes: 1,039,606 (56%) – Projected winner
No: 801,279 (44%)
99% of precincts reporting.

Arkansas: Initiative 1 (Gay Adoption Ban)
Yes: 571,392 (57%) – Projected winner
No: 432,512 (43%)
95% of precincts reporting.

California: Proposition 8 (Marriage Amendment)
Yes: 5,125,752 (52%)
No: 4,725,313 (48%)
95% of precincts reporting.

Florida: Amendment 2: (Marriage Amendment)
Yes: 4,662,558 (62%) – Projected winner
No: 2,851,598 (38%)
99% of precincts reporting.
* The Florida constitution requires 60% for an amendment to pass.

As of 9:15 am EST/6:15 am PST:
Interesting exit polling results for Arizona’s Prop 102. Things will definitely be different in another decade or so. Despite these losses, time and history are clearly on our side.

Arizona: Proposition 102: (Marriage Amendment)
Yes: 1,039,606 (56%) – Projected winner
No: 801,279 (44%)
99% of precincts reporting.

Arkansas: Initiative 1 (Gay Adoption Ban)
Yes: 571,392 (57%) – Projected winner
No: 432,512 (43%)
95% of precincts reporting.

California: Proposition 8 (Marriage Amendment)
Yes: 5,019,930 (52%)
No: 4,656,291 (48%)
92% of precincts reporting.

Florida: Amendment 2: (Marriage Amendment)
Yes: 4,662,558 (62%) – Projected winner
No: 2,851,598 (38%)
99% of precincts reporting.
* The Florida constitution requires 60% for an amendment to pass.

As of 8:45 am EST/5:45 am PST:
None of the networks are calling California’s Prop 8 yet.

Arizona: Proposition 102: (Marriage Amendment)
Yes: 1,039,606 (56%) – Projected winner
No: 801,279 (44%)
99% of precincts reporting.

Arkansas: Initiative 1 (Gay Adoption Ban)
Yes: 571,392 (57%) – Projected winner
No: 432,512 (43%)
95% of precincts reporting.

California: Proposition 8 (Marriage Amendment)
Yes: 5,010,855 (52%)
No: 4,650,469 (48%)
92% of precincts reporting.

Florida: Amendment 2: (Marriage Amendment)
Yes: 4,662,558 (62%) – Projected winner
No: 2,851,598 (38%)
99% of precincts reporting.
* The Florida constitution requires 60% for an amendment to pass.

As of 8:00 am EST/5:00 am PST:
Well, we’re back. Let’s see where things stand right now.

Arizona: Proposition 102: (Marriage Amendment)
Yes: 1,039,606 (56%) – Projected winner
No: 801,279 (44%)
99% of precincts reporting.

Arkansas: Initiative 1 (Gay Adoption Ban)
Yes: 571,392 (57%) – Projected winner
No: 432,512 (43%)
95% of precincts reporting.

California: Proposition 8 (Marriage Amendment)
Yes: 4,948,765 (52%)
No: 4,597,609 (48%)
91% of precincts reporting.

Florida: Amendment 2: (Marriage Amendment)
Yes: 4,632,316 (62%) – Projected winner
No: 2,832,236 (38%)
98% of precincts reporting.
* The Florida constitution requires 60% for an amendment to pass.

As of 2:15 am EST/11:15 pm PST:
I’m afraid this will have to be my last update for the night. My partner has rolled over and turned off the light, and our two dogs are staring at me with that look that says, “aren’t you done yet?” And there’s the fact that I still have to get up early in the morning for my real job.

So here is where things stand right now. We’ll pick it up in the morning. Feel free to add your updates in the comments.

Arizona: Proposition 102: (Marriage Amendment)
Yes: 1,008,420 (56%) – Projected winner
No: 776,896 (44%)
92% of precincts reporting.

Arkansas: Initiative 1 (Gay Adoption Ban)
Yes: 544,197 (57%) – Projected winner
No: 544,197 (43%)
90% of precincts reporting.

California: Proposition 8 (Marriage Amendment)
Yes: 2,457,023 (53%)
No: 2,202,737 (47%)
39% of precincts reporting.

Florida: Amendment 2: (Marriage Amendment)
Yes: 4,632,316 (62%) – Projected winner
No: 2,832,236 (38%)
98% of precincts reporting.
* The Florida constitution requires 60% for an amendment to pass.

As of 2:00 am EST/11:00 pm PST:
California is still hanging in there.

Arizona: Proposition 102: (Marriage Amendment)
Yes: 1,007,350 (56%) – Projected winner
No: 776,264 (44%)
92% of precincts reporting.

Arkansas: Initiative 1 (Gay Adoption Ban)
Yes: 509,879 (57%) – Projected winner
No: 379,606 (43%)
84% of precincts reporting.

California: Proposition 8 (Marriage Amendment)
Yes: 2,282,644 (53%)
No: 2,055,774 (47%)
35% of precincts reporting.

Florida: Amendment 2: (Marriage Amendment)
Yes: 4,632,316 (62%) – Projected winner
No: 2,832,236 (38%)
98% of precincts reporting.
* The Florida constitution requires 60% for an amendment to pass.

As of 1:40 am EST/10:40 pm PST:
As we continue to watch California’s results trickle in, there are some silver linings to report. Arizona State Sen. Tim Bee (R-Tucson) lost his congressional race against Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, 55% to 43%, with 73% of precincts reporting. Bee is the guy responsible for casting the crucial sixteenth vote which put Prop 102 onto the Arizona ballot. His political career is now, fittingly, over.

And perennial Federal Marriage Amendment sponsor Marilyn Musgrave (R-CO) has lost her bid for re-election. With 67% of precincts reporting, Betsy Markey is thumping her 57% to 42%.

Arizona: Proposition 102: (Marriage Amendment)
Yes: 1,004,467 (56%) – Projected winner
No: 774,471 (44%)
91% of precincts reporting.

Arkansas: Initiative 1 (Gay Adoption Ban)
Yes: 501,385 (57%) – Projected winner
No: 373,806 (43%)
83% of precincts reporting.

California: Proposition 8 (Marriage Amendment)
Yes: 2,252,980 (53%)
No: 1,983,079 (47%)
32% of precincts reporting.

Florida: Amendment 2: (Marriage Amendment)
Yes: 4,614,855 (62%) – Projected winner
No: 2,816,930 (38%)
98% of precincts reporting.
* The Florida constitution requires 60% for an amendment to pass.

As of 1:20 am EST/10:20 pm PST:
The web site for California’s results is extremely slow right now. It’s been slow all evening, but right now I’m really having a hard time getting the results to come up.

Arizona: Proposition 102: (Marriage Amendment)
Yes: 1,003,365 (56%) – Projected winner
No: 774,034 (44%)
91% of precincts reporting.

Arkansas: Initiative 1 (Gay Adoption Ban)
Yes: 481,397 (57%) – Projected winner
No: 361,804 (43%)
77% of precincts reporting.

California: Proposition 8 (Marriage Amendment)
Yes: 1,996,918 (53%)
No: 1,810,938 (47%)
29% of precincts reporting.

Florida: Amendment 2: (Marriage Amendment)
Yes: 4,614,855 (62%) – Projected winner
No: 2,816,930 (38%)
98% of precincts reporting.
* The Florida constitution requires 60% for an amendment to pass.

As of 1:00 am EST/10:00 pm PST:
It’s official; Florida has fallen. California is still standing — and the gap is beginning to close.

Arizona: Proposition 102: (Marriage Amendment)
Yes: 998,429 (56%) – Projected winner
No: 771,350 (44%)
91% of precincts reporting.

Arkansas: Initiative 1 (Gay Adoption Ban)
Yes: 475,310 (57%) – Projected winner
No: 356,953 (43%)
75% of precincts reporting.

California: Proposition 8 (Marriage Amendment)
Yes: 1,867,373 (53%)
No: 1,633,120 (47%)
24% of precincts reporting.

Florida: Amendment 2: (Marriage Amendment)
Yes: 4,589,831 (62%) – Projected winner
No: 2,800,945 (38%)
98% of precincts reporting.
* The Florida constitution requires 60% for an amendment to pass.

As of 12:40 am EST/9:40 pm PST:
I’m back home now, keeping an eye on Arizona and California. It looks like Arkansas and Arizona are lost. I can however take consolation that Pima County (Tucson), my home, has stayed true to its better nature and is trending against Prop 102. California and Florida are still too close to call, although I think we’ll be able to call Florida soon, unfortunately.

Arizona: Proposition 102: (Marriage Amendment)
Yes: 973,264 (56%) – Projected winner
No: 747,932 (44%)
85% of precincts reporting.

Arkansas: Initiative 1 (Gay Adoption Ban)
Yes: 446,081 (57%) – Projected winner
No: 337,638 (43%)
67% of precincts reporting.

California: Proposition 8 (Marriage Amendment)
Yes: 1,682,717 (55%)
No: 1,407,141 (45%)
22% of precincts reporting.

Florida: Amendment 2: (Marriage Amendment)
Yes: 4,479,514 (62%)
No: 2,719,369 (38%)
92% of precincts reporting.
* The Florida constitution requires 60% for an amendment to pass.

As of 12:20 am EST/9:20 pm PST:

Arizona: Proposition 102: (Marriage Amendment)
Yes: 930,710 (56%)
No: 728,183 (44%)
81% of precincts reporting.

Arkansas: Initiative 1 (Gay Adoption Ban)
Yes: 415,261 (57%)
No: 317,625 (43%)
61% of precincts reporting.

California: Proposition 8 (Marriage Amendment)
Yes: 1,451,505 (55%)
No: 1,213,319 (45%)
17% of precincts reporting.

Florida: Amendment 2: (Marriage Amendment)
Yes: 4,414,880 (62%)
No: 2,678,415 (38%)
91% of precincts reporting.
* The Florida constitution requires 60% for an amendment to pass.

As of 11:35 pm EST/8:35 pm PST:

Arizona: Proposition 102: (Marriage Amendment)
Yes: 877,204 (56%)
No: 684,143 (44%)
71% of precincts reporting.

Arkansas: Initiative 1 (Gay Adoption Ban)
Yes: 378,764 (57%)
No: 288,143 (43%)
54% of precincts reporting.

California: Proposition 8 (Marriage Amendment)
Yes: 1,053,742 (54%)
No: 894,081 (46%)
6% of precincts reporting.

Florida: Amendment 2: (Marriage Amendment)
Yes: 4,249,773 (62%)
No: 2,591,180 (38%)
86% of precincts reporting.
* The Florida constitution requires 60% for an amendment to pass.

As of 11:07 pm EST/8:07 pm PST:

Arizona: Proposition 102: (Marriage Amendment)
Yes: 754,526 (56%)
No: 585,886 (44%)
49% of precincts reporting.

Arkansas: Initiative 1 (Gay Adoption Ban)
Yes: 287,692 (57%)
No: 218,441 (43%)
40% of precincts reporting.

California: Proposition 8 (Marriage Amendment)
No results yet.

Florida: Amendment 2: (Marriage Amendment)
Yes: 4,184,771 (62%)
No: 2,558,175 (38%)
84% of precincts reporting
* The Florida constitution requires 60% for an amendment to pass.

As of 10:00 pm EST/7:00 pm PST:

Arizona: Proposition 102: (Marriage Amendment)
No results yet.

Arkansas: Initiative 1 (Gay Adoption Ban)
Yes: 90,920 (59%)
No: 63,362 (41%)
3% of precincts reporting.

California: Proposition 8 (Marriage Amendment)
No results yet.

Florida: Amendment 2: (Marriage Amendment)
Yes: 3,623,476 (62%)
No: 2,179,355 (38%)
62% of precincts reporting
* The Florida constitution requires 60% for an amendment to pass.

As of 9:30 EST/6:30 PST:

Florida: Amendment 2: (Marriage Amendment)
Yes: 3,388,335 (62%)
No: 2,066,794 (38%)
50% of precincts reporting
* The Florida constitution requires 60% for an amendment to pass.

Arizona: Proposition 102: (Marriage Amendment)
No results yet

Arkansas: Initiative 1 (Gay Adoption Ban)
Yes: 21,273 (57%)
No: 16,366 (43%)
3% of precincts reporting.

California: Proposition 8 (Marriage Amendment)
No results yet.

Florida: Amendment 2: (Marriage Amendment)
Yes: 3,388,335 (62%)
No: 2,066,794 (38%)
50% of precincts reporting

* The Florida constitution requires 60% for an amendment to pass.

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